The beautiful Western Cape village of Hout Bay boasts many remarkable homes, but none so eye-catching and well known as The Castle, situated high up against the Karbonkelberg mountainside overlooking the beach and the bay.
Run as a guesthouse and owned for many years by a foreign company, this local landmark has now just been sold by Nina Smith of Sotheby’s International Realty Southern Suburbs to a new overseas owner – a Russian businessman – for the princely sum of R23 million.
Completed in 1998 by Cape Town businessman Reynier Fritz, the castle is a replica of Schloss Lichtenstein in southern Germany, and was intended to be just as private and difficult to reach. It is still accessible by only one mountain road and, since it has its own helipad now, by helicopter.
It had nevertheless become an increasingly popular play to stay, especially for overseas tourists to the Cape, and a sought-after venue for weddings and conferences. Set on an 8,5ha terraced site with a natural waterfall and a huge swimming pool, the castle also has its own water supply, and a generator in case of power outages. It also has a modern banqueting hall that can accommodate 200 people, and conference facilities for 40.
The main hall on ground level is however, more traditional, with its carved beams, vaulted ceilings, stained-glass windows and huge fireplace, as well as a dining area with period table that can seat 24. There are also 13 romantic guest suites, all with their own bathrooms, at different levels of the castle, as well as a library, billiard room and bar, and a businesslike industrial kitchen with walk-in coldroom, a laundry and a manager’s suite.
“However, as we understand it, the new owner has bought it for private use,” says Lew Geffen, chairman of Sotheby’s International Realty in SA, “and this significant sale once again demonstrates the power of our global network in uniting discerning investors and exceptional properties.”